RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) has filed a lawsuit against the Gaston County Board of Education over payroll issues resulting in repeated, ongoing discrepancies in compensation and retirement and other deductions. The complaint names two plaintiffs along with NCAE who are representative of the countless public-school employees who haven’t been receiving the correct compensation for more than a year.
Since January 2022, public school employees in Gaston County have encountered problems with Oracle, the third-party vendor the county selected to process payroll. The change in payroll came under legislation passed by the General Assembly. Some of the issues have included employees being underpaid, pre-tax funds not being deducted, some employees being paid more than their salary and taxed but being asked to repay the money without any accounting to name a few. In some instances, financial hardships have occurred because employees, who are paid monthly, don’t receive the money owed to them to pay their bills and support their families.
“Our members have been greatly affected by this problem and several conversations have taken place with the Gaston County Payroll Department and our attorneys,” said Tamika Walker Kelly, President of NCAE. “The district had more than a year to figure out a solution and make the hardworking employees of Gaston County Public Schools whole. We know with new systems come quirks, and we feel we’ve given them enough time to resolve this issue. We’ve been more than patient.”
This is the first lawsuit filed on this issue in Gaston County. Across the state, school districts are exploring the modernization of their own payroll systems with funding passed by the NC General Assembly in 2016. Responsibility and oversight of these transitions was given to the Department of Instruction (DPI) which chose only two potential vendors for school districts to select from, increasing the likelihood of similar payroll issues occurring in other communities in the coming years.
NCAE is the state’s largest education advocacy organization for public school employees, representing active, student and retired members.